One after another they took to a microphone in front of a banner that read, "Free Jason Williams. Touch one, touch all." The protesters called for an economic boycott of the campus, urging people to spend not a dime at such places as the Starbucks at the Kellogg Library across the way. They said the boycott should last until all the charges against Williams are dismissed.
"If one person does not have social justice," said student Heidi Doyle, "I should not have it." Noted Williams, "I am preparing to spend a year in the penitentiary."
Six days later, on November 28, university president Haynes asked distinguished writing and literature professor Susie Lan Cassel and former Cal State Fresno police chief Lynn Button to conduct an independent inquiry into the Williams case. She also indicated she would convene an in-house task force to examine the role of the police.
On November 30, the police went into damage control, holding their own public forum at the Clarke Field House to assure a skeptical crowd they would thoroughly investigate any formal complaints about officers in the department.
Four weeks later, on December 28, Williams filed a statement at the Vista Courthouse. In it, he swore that police had stopped him illegally, told him he did not "belong here," searched his car without his consent, roughed him up, and then falsified their arrest report.
By February 4, investigators Cassel and Button had completed their work. The university released 4 pages of what's thought to be a 25-page report. It concluded that in the Williams arrest, campus police had acted "within the policies and procedures established."
Nonetheless, the investigators called for a study of arrests by race, a community committee to oversee the police "to ward against race inequity," and the training of officers to be more sensitive to cultural diversity.
By early May, with graduation approaching at Cal State San Marcos, Michael Moore had still not been heard from as to his scholarship awards. Reminded of this by a reporter, Moore swiftly moved into action, put up a website inviting nominations, and declared, "It's not easy to take on the establishment, but when students do so for the right reasons, they should be rewarded."
On May 13, just two days before commencement, Moore announced the awards. He gave out six scholarships worth $15,000, tripling both the number of recipients and the amount of cash. Among the winners: Jason Edwin Williams, $2500 richer and now with the money he said he needs to finish college.
According to Moore, the student had "tirelessly pursued justice," battled racial profiling, and represented "exactly the type of student who belongs at CSUSM."
In a newspaper interview later, Williams said, "I stand for that citizen who is tired of being mistreated."
At the end of May, with the campus quiet and in between semesters, the in-house task force issued a report that urged the campus police to be more community oriented in their patrols. But it rejected the idea of forming a citizens' review board to oversee the department. Instead, the task force leaned toward forming a panel -- drawn from the region, the faculty, and the student body -- that would only offer the police advice. Williams's trial is scheduled to begin on September 2 at the Vista Courthouse.